Thank you, David Bowie.

January 11, 2016 , , Carina Thornton
FPP Fiesta
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david bowie

So, this is totally not pet-related but simply something I wanted to say.

I’m heartbroken over the death of David Bowie.

I was trying to wrap my head around the idea and put into words why his death stunned me so deeply. But The Nerdist said it better than I could:

“The idea that David Bowie has the capability to die is absurd to me. He seemed totally beyond that kind of lowly, earthbound construct. His persona was so tied to alien life, immortality, and never being tied to a single style–musically or otherwise–that I assumed the parameters of human life did not apply to him.”

When I saw the news, a part of me didn’t believe it. Ha! Good one! A great promotion for “Blackstar” and “Lazarus”, you clever boy! After all, Bowie is an artist, a very theatrical one! And what the hell does social media know about truth anyway? How many celebrities have “died” on Facebook only to be resurrected hours later? Then it hit me that he couldn’t possibly be that cruel. He couldn’t possibly punch us in the gut like that… He wouldn’t do that to his wife and family. And then I cried.

I discovered David Bowie when I started high school – probably a little late to the party but that was typical for me. While most of my friends were listening to rock and heavy metal, I was leaning towards alternative music, or what we used to call “new wave” (or is it nu wave?) My concert ticket stub collection from the 80s contains the likes of Adam Ant, Squeeze, Duran Duran, U2, Shriekback, Echo and the Bunnymen, The Smiths, The Alarm… and countless others that made most people say “Huh?” I saw the early days of MTV (when they still showed music videos) and David Bowie was a huge presence there.

I remember seeing “Let’s Dance” over and over again and I couldn’t get enough. I worked backwards through his history from there – making my way through the stacks of vinyl at my favorite NYC record stores – and when I discovered Ziggy Stardust, this thin pale man with bright red hair and strange eyes…. I. Was. Floored.

I was so excited when I found that I didn’t have to wait for his next album. I had 15 years of history to learn! And learn I did. I used the money from my very first job at a Hallmark card shop to buy Space Oddity, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, Aladdin Sane. My hair has been bright purple. My makeup, bright orange. My fingernails, glossy black. It may be as I’m sitting here writing this, as the tears are welling up, that I see the full impact of his life on the teenage me. (And yes, bits of adult me…)

I remember watching the “grown-ups” mourn the loss of Elvis, of John Lennon but I couldn’t really understand how they felt the loss of someone they didn’t even know as profoundly as they did. Now I know. I’ve cried a lot today. I’ll dust off records tonight (yup, I still have a turntable) and send a big thank you to the stars.

“And the stars look very different today…”

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